Comparisons must end

It has been forever it seems… not that I have not had anything to say, just haven’t taken the time.   Unfortunately, I have lately just bottling them in my head.  Hopefully this is a start of the release, lol.

On Friday, Samuel had a dentist appointment and I put on Facebook to pray for him.  (p.s. thank you to all of those who paused and prayed).  I really hesitate asking for prayer, and rarely will directly for me.  Here is my issue… all of my life, except for maybe a selfish teen years, I have always looked at my life in comparison to someone else.  For instance, though my mother was handicapped, I could justify I had nothing to complain about because at least I had my mother.  After she passed away, I could justify I had nothing to complain about because at least I had her through college.  So asking for prayer is hard, when I have dear friends fighting cancer.  I feel like my problems are so much smaller and insignificant.

This week a few things prior to Friday, really added to my epiphany.   I read a couple blogs about the comparison thing.  One as moms, we compare ourselves to the “perfect mom” who does all the great Pinterest ideas, the homemade gifts, etc. and feel inadequate.  It is funny because I had a friend this week say she even used me in a reference about being a good mom, but that is because I have somehow figured out how to do it all by giving up sleep, lol.  Of note, I use to believe I could be the perfect mom.  With Mary, we did the handmade Valentines every year, her cakes for school were made from scratch, etc.   However, there are many times as I slip in my car and drive to work that I just cry and think of how bad I have messed up being a great mom.  The guilt sometimes is huge, but tucked away nicely when I need to put on the “its all okay” face.  The other blog I read was about how people paint their lives as perfect on Facebook and how we just want to unfriend them, secretly.  We don’t want reminders of how messed up and imperfect our lives truly are.  Again, I felt a little guilty because almost everyday I put up a blessing list.  To the outside world, it maybe perceived as I have a perfect life with a perfect husband, perfect kids, and perfect job, etc.   However, I have intentionally chosen to look at the blessings and not the burdens of my day.  For me, it changes my mindset and also, makes me realize that my “problems” are insignificant next to the person fighting for their lives.

It does not help that I am a nurse.  I complete insurance reviews on many people when I work.  In fact, last night as I typed a few of them, I cried and could not imagine being in their shoes.   I also try to say a prayer for that person as I type and also anytime I hear the helicopter landing or an ambulance, etc.  I don’t know the people, but I do know they could use a prayer and they have just served as another reminder of how blessed I am.

However, over time I have tried to do the same with my children’s problems.   With Sam, I somehow “understand” his meltdowns.  I guess it is because I don’t understand how he processes things in his mind, but I have read many reference materials that completely make sense and are consistent.   I can’t say to him your problem is nothing because other children are dying from cancer, he just will not “get it”.  So, since he can’t get the comparison, his problems I understand are a big deal.  However, with Mary, I often will say, you don’t know what they are going through… can you imagine if you were in their shoes… just be thankful that you have xyz.  It isn’t that I am trying to minimize her problems, although maybe I am, but trying to get her to see others have a harder life.  However, she completely has a heart of gold and completely gets the pain others are going through.  She loves doing things for missionaries for starving children.  So, since she “gets it”, I expect her to be like me and minimize her issues.  Stuff them away and put on the “it’s fine” face.   Comparisons are tough stuff for me!  One day a couple/several months ago, Mary was going through a rough spot.  I wanted her to walk in someone else’s shoes… I wanted her to put on her “it’s fine face”… I wanted her to minimize her problems and feelings… She said something at one point that just stuck, something like “Though other people may have bigger problems/issues in their lives does not make my problems/issues any less important.” OUCH!

Back to nursing, it was hard at times taking care of someone with a “Small problem” after just leaving the room of someone fighting for their life.  Another thing is the person who says they want to loose 10 lbs and I just think to myself you should be in my shoes and needing to loose about 90.  I have honestly said to people if you need to feel better about yourself stand next to me.  It is all about comparisons.  But when I do that, I fall into the category of the people who always have a “BIGGER” problem.  We all know someone who always has a worse story and love to share it with you.  For instance, I hated asking for prayer on Friday also because it is just “a dentist appointment”.   Although, I have quietly gotten angry when people do not understand what a big deal a dentist appointment is for Sam and they undermine the issue.  But is exactly what I do everyday of my life as I underestimate my needs, Mary’s issues, etc…

So on Friday as I drove to the dentist with Sam, both of us with some tears, it so hit me.  I serve a Heavenly Father who thinks just like Mary… though other people may have bigger problems, mine are just as important to him.  He wants to hear my little whisper when I can’t find my keys… He wants to hear my crying out when we are walking into the dentist office…  He wants to hear from me about all my blessings and problems and not just wait for the “big stuff”.   All the while, He still hears the screams of my friends with cancer, or the wife of a dying husband, or the family who just lost their home, etc..  Problems and misunderstandings happen when I compare… when I underestimate or over estimate.  Instead, I just need to remember that to that person, that problem is just as important, because to my Heavenly Father they also fall equally at His feet.

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